Toothpaste and Your Child’s Smile

Toothpaste and Your Child’s SmileBuying a tube of toothpaste can seem overwhelming when looking for the best option for your little ones, so we’ve made a helpful toothpaste guide to understanding toothpaste and how to select the right one.

Pediatric dental care is important to a child’s development, so when you notice your child’s first tooth, be sure to contact your child’s dentist so we can help you start the journey off on the right foot.

Understanding Ingredients

Many people assume that all kinds of toothpaste are the same, and yet the toothpaste aisle is filled with so many different choices. This is because certain kinds of toothpaste are formulated to tackle different dental concerns.

Here are some of the common ingredients shared by most kinds of toothpaste and how they may affect your children’s teeth:

Abrasive agents are particles that gently scrub away plaque, left-over food, and harmful bacteria from teeth to create a smooth polished surface. Be careful when selecting an abrasive toothpaste as it may be too harsh for baby teeth and lead to gum erosion.

Artificial sweeteners help make toothpaste taste sweet without causing tooth decay. Toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors that your kids will love such as bubblegum, lemon-lime, various fruit flavors, and even mint.

Thickening agents or chemicals are used to create that texture and distinct shape we associate with toothpaste. Sometimes children’s toothpaste includes more of these ingredients to make it easier for children to manage.

Detergents are ingredients in toothpaste responsible for creating suds or foam when brushing your teeth.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that we have used for over 50 years to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Children are subject to tooth decay the moment their teeth arrive, so you should begin good oral habits once the first tooth arrives. We recommend using fluoride to help strengthen your child’s enamel and to ensure their teeth develop properly.

Toothpaste Varieties

Many kinds of toothpaste on the market target dental concerns such as teeth whitening and tartar control. Unfortunately, not every toothpaste is suitable for children. Remember to buy versions that are marketed and produced specifically for children. Children’s toothpaste often contains lower amounts of fluoride making it safe to swallow and come in a variety of flavors and colors to help children enjoy practicing good oral health habits.

If you are unsure which product your children will like more, buy various small tubes so they can pick one that they like.

Using the Right Amount

It is important to follow the age-based portions regardless of which toothpaste you select. Children under the age of 3 should only use a smear of toothpaste, no larger than a grain of rice. After the age of 3, the portion can be increased to a pea-sized amount.

We also recommend supervising your children during dental routines until the age of 8 to ensure that they are brushing and flossing their teeth properly.

We are always here to help offer advice on how to best protect your children’s smiles. If you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact the Children’s Dentistry of San Diego today.

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